How to Install Manjaro Linux from USB [Complete Guide]

This is a step by step guide shows how to install Manjaro Linux on your machine using an USB stick.

Manjaro is a free and open-source Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, with focus on user-friendliness and accessibility. It features 3 official desktop editions: XFCE, KDE, and GNOME.

Preparation:

Before getting started, you need to do:

1. Boot the Manjaro Live-USB.

So you have the bootable USB for Manjaro? Plug it into your machine, and boot it. Depends on your machine, you can press ESC, F2 or Del etc to get into BIOS and set up boot order.

When it starts into the menu, hit Enter to boot with the default entry “Boot with open source drivers”:

2. Launch the install wizard:

Once you get into the live system, you can either click “Launch installer” in the welcome dialog, or click “Install Manjaro Linux” shortcut icon either from the Desktop or Dock launcher.

3. Setup language, location, & keyboard layout:

When it starts, firstly choose the language for the install wizard:

Next click on the map to choose your location, and setup your system language, date & time locale.

Then choose keyboard layout, while the default one is for common used keyboard.

4. Create Disk Partition for Manjaro:

a.) After setting up keyboard, it will ask you to select a partition plan to install Manjaro. And I recommend to select “Manual partitioning” unless you want to erase all Disk data.

b.) When you’re at the partition table, delete useless partitions if you don’t have enough free space:

c.) Create bios-grub for GTP disk, skip this step if it’s not GPT.

Check the first partition (usually /dev/sda1) and make sure it’s has bios-grub flag.

Don’t know if GPT or not? Check either in step a.), or open terminal and run command:

sudo parted -l

You can manually create a bios-grub partition if it’s GTP disk. To do so, delete /dev/sda1 if any, then create with following info on it:

  • 8 MB size.
  • unformatted file system.
  • bios-grub flat.

And make sure it’s finally the first partition!

d.) Create system partition for Manjaro.

Now select free space and click on “Create”, then do:

  • set size to at least 10240 MB. For long usage, 50 GB + will be good.
  • select ext4 as file system.
  • check “Encrypt” which is optional. If enabled, you have to type password each time before booting into boot menu
  • set mount point /

e.) Create Swap area.

Swap area is useful when you have a small RAM size. If you don’t use Hibernate function, and have a large RAM size, it’s OK to not have Swap.

Also click on free space and create with following info:

  • set size of RAM.
  • select LinuxSwap as file system.

Finally your partition table will look like (no swap in the case):

5. Create account & start installing:

After manual partition step, confirm the pop-up ‘GTP table’ dialog, and setup your account. And it’s OK to ignore administrator password.

Finally check the summary and click on “Install” button. And confirm to start.

6. Wait until done & restart:

Finally just wait! Once done, restart your machine or continue testing the live system.

Conclusion:

Compare to other Linux, e.g., Ubuntu and Linux Mint, the installer wizard of Manjaro is a little more user-friendly. And the whole installing process is quite easy. For GPT disk table, you have to make sure the Disk is started with an unformartted partition with “bios-grub” flag.

If you choose encrypt the file system while creating the ext4 partition, you’ll get a screen says “Attempting to decrypt master key…” on each boot. And you have to type the password (no visual feedback) you set to get pass.

All done. Enjoy!

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a geek who has been working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.